a conversation with a religious person is never wasted. Something will stick.
I love the optimism of this statement - and it's very much what I've suspected for a while now - having understood determinism, the causal web and our lack of CCFW.
Thanks for the links - I'm always keen to hear more sense and reason :) I'll have a look at them all.
Also I saw a great Dawkins you tube yesterday where he says something similar to this - in answer to someone accusing atheists of being scary - saying that they haven't every threatened anyone or flown into a building or strapped a bomb to themselves or waged war on others for hating their god etc...
"...a conversation with a religious person is never wasted. Something will stick."
Not likely; check out homeostasis.
Hearing the views of atheists may stir imbalances in believers' minds. Stress responses may follow and believers may put a lot of probably unconscious effort into returning to their comfort zones.
Conversations with believers will more likely benefit atheists by strengthening synapses in their minds and helping them adapt to atheism's many freedoms.
I think we all might agree there is no absolute answer to this. Yes, we can de-convert with argument. No, we can't, they become more entrenched. Both happen. In psychoanalysis this is known, I think, as negative therapeutic effect. Someone takes a shaky step out of the miserable, maybe shame-bound dungeon of depression, suddenly feels unworthy and lost, runs back in. It's a process therapists work with. And sometimes it's one step out, two back, but in time confidence might grow with familiarity.
But none of us here have numbers that tell us either fundies never change their minds or given the right words, they all can. No doubt religion will always be around in some form.
I have grown quite tired of arguing with believers over the years but I hope, in a very small way to add something good to the world before I go. This is why I will always talk to a religious person if they want to. Somewhere down the line, I hope I'm adding to the stock of reason in the world, however inadequately I might do it.
I watched the whole debate - 5 you tubes - and this was my comment:
I totally agree with Fry and Hichens - but they might have shown more compassion and sportsmanship at the end - by shacking hands or something - it's not personal - it's about the institution - and like Fry states - he's not against individuals who are genuine hearted in their desire to do good in the world - despite their ignorance and religious indoctrination. After all - there being no such thing as contra causal free will - they are determined to be that way - as are the other billions...
Yes Sam Harris is Jewish. He is also a scientist by the way. He researches neurology. I often think his equitable, calm and humorous manner may be a result of his experiments with drugs and meditation! Perhaps the latter mostly!
It's nice of you to have watched all that debate by the way! I didn't think many would.
But you could argue that the other side could have also behaved in a more sportsmanlike manner too. Losers usually like to appear to take it graciously. I'm guessing they probably shook hands outside.